The University of Michigan found that adults who received hearing aids shortly after experiencing hearing loss had reduced risks of anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, depression (caused by social isolation), and falls.
Only 12% of people who are diagnosed with hearing loss actually get hearing aids - even if their insurance helps cover the cost. There are also disparities in hearing aid usage among people who are part of different races, ethnicities, genders, and geographic locations.
A team from the University of Michigan studied reports from about 115,000 individuals who were over 66 years of age and experienced hearing loss. The people in this case study had insurance through Medicare HMO from 2008 and 2016.
As frequently mentioned in this blog, those who experience hearing loss are more prone to poor health events, and additional comorbidities. The study demonstrates how intervening affects a person’s health while showing the beneficial link between wearing hearing aids and the outcome of a patient's health.
Hearing aids cannot prevent anxiety, cognitive decline, depression, and falls, but they can delay the onset of dementia. Hearing aids have also been shown to improve how a person understands and responds to others.
Distinctions in Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities
Analysts studied the patients who received hearing aids for three years and compared them to those who did not receive hearing aids. Discernable differences came to light.
Overall, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) within three years of experiencing hearing loss was 18% lower for those who used hearing aids. The risk of being diagnosed with anxiety or depression by the end of three years was 11% lower for those who used hearing aids, and there was a 13% lower risk of needing treatment due to a fall-related injury.
This study also supports past studies, which determined that individuals with hearing loss had significantly greater risks of dementia, depression, and injuries due to falls than the overall population.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
The familiar warning signs for hearing loss are constantly asking others to repeat themselves, raising the volume on your TV, and missing parts of verbal conversations.
Modern digital hearing aids are available in small/discreet sizes and styles. They also feature Bluetooth® technology which allows you to stream phone calls, TV, and music directly into your hearing aids.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free pure-tone hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists can help you select hearing aids and program them for your specific listening needs.